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J Proteomics. 2009 Apr 13;72(3):452-74. doi: 10.1016/j.jprot.2008.12.002. Epub 2008 Dec 16.

Thioredoxin targets in plants: the first 30 years.

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  • 1Physiologie Mol√©culaire des Semences, IFR 149 QUASAV, UMR 1191 Universit√© d'Angers-Institut National d'Horticulture-INRA, ARES, Angers Cedex 01, France.


The turn of the century welcomed major developments in redox biology. In plants, proteomics made possible the identification of proteins linked to thioredoxin (Trx), initially in chloroplasts and then other cell compartments. Two procedures, one based on thiol specific probes and the other on mutant Trx proteins, facilitated the labeling or isolation of potential Trx targets that were later identified with proteomic approaches. As a result, the number of targets in land plants increased 10-fold from fewer than 40 to more than 400. Additional targets have been identified in green algae and cyanobacteria, making a grand total of 500 in oxygenic photosynthetic organisms. Collectively these proteins have the potential to influence virtually every major process of the cell. A number of laboratories currently seek to confirm newly identified Trx targets by biochemical and genetic approaches. Almost certainly many new targets become redox active during oxidative stress, enabling the plant to cope with changing environments. Under these conditions, certain targets may be glutathionylated or nitrosylated such that reversion to the original reduced state is facilitated not only by Trx, but also, in some cases preferably, by glutaredoxin. When judging changes linked to Trx, it is prudent to recognize that effects transcend classical light/dark or oxidative regulation and fall in other arenas, in some cases yet to be defined. While future work will continue to give insight into functional details, it is clear that Trx plays a fundamental role in regulating diverse processes of the living cell.

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